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Nano-bones, strong as steel

First medical use of nanotechnology

Economist

The way atoms are arranged is very important. Diamonds, coal and graphite
They are all made of the same element - carbon. but only from a certain arrangement of atoms
The carbon can be made into a wedding ring.

The same is true regarding hydroxyapatite, from which they are mainly made
the bones Chemists can easily produce buckets of the substance, but this is not
Can be used to reattach broken bones, as it is too weak.
Therefore, titanium implants are usually used to connect broken bones.

Edward Ann and his colleagues from Angstrom Medica hope to change reality
This is through a process that will control the atomic level of creating crystals
the hydroxyapatite. The result will be a version of the material that will have a strength of
steel. It will consist of nanocrystals, each of which is 100 nanometers long
(billionth of a meter). Larger crystals cannot be so
Strong.

Another advantage of the nanocrystals, whose production process is a trade secret, is
Their smallness allows the bone cells to stick to them and even break them down
and reassemble them. In this way the artificial crystals will be integrated into the bone
and will become an inseparable part of it.

In the process of creating the nanocrystals, the researchers will be able to dictate not only their strength
but also the speed with which they are absorbed by the body and the degree of their ability to bind
For collagen - the protein which is actually the second most important component. We hope so
The researchers produce implants suitable for patients of different ages, since in
Young people, unlike adults, it is desirable for the implants to be absorbed by the body
Quickly.

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